Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Rural family worked hard, rolled with the punches

That was in May 1937. My brother, Jim, and I canceled everything and went to sit at Boone with Mom and Dad. Our dear mother, Nancy Meyers, died three days later! We were crushed. Dad wanted to sell the dairy, the farm, home, cows and everything! It took months for us to begin to adjust to life without Mom. I moved back to the farm, and we employed a woman to keep books for the dairy and prepare meals for all of us.

Chub and I married in December 1937, and Dad loaned us money to buy half interest in the retail part of his dairy. Dad and Chub then bought a new, white Dodge dairy truck, lettered "Meyers and Gerard Dairy, Clean Milk, Fresh From My Own Cows, Dial 3942." Why did we say "clean milk"? Because in the í30s, an inspector visited dairies, took milk samples, tested them and reported the results for publication in local newspapers. Dad took pride in having the dairy with the best report almost every month.

Other changes were on the way. New words crept into our vocabularies: "butterfat," "Grade A," "inspector," "milk ordinance," "score card," "raw milk," "pasteurize." In December 1932, Columbia adopted Missouriís standard state milk ordinance and employed a sanitation officer to enforce the ordinance to improve the quality of milk sold in Columbia. Milk in glass bottles sold for 8 cents a quart - cooled and delivered to the customerís front porch in time for breakfast. Dadís dairy and only three others out of 30 small dairies passed that first grading. Many families bought small farms for their dairy cows - to help pay for their studentsí educations!

Dad typed a page of apology to customers about an increased price for the Grade A milk they had been buying for 8 cents a quart, explaining that it would now cost 10 cents. Hereís why:

● Employees must have a health exam.

● Barn floors must be limed after each milking - two times daily.

● Milk to be cooled to 50 degrees and held till delivery.

● Milk house (special construction) to be free of flies.

● Barn whitewashed.

● Manure removed from barn daily.

● Buy sanitary septic tank for sewage disposal.

● Have plentiful pure water available.

"To meet these expenses we find it necessary to announce new prices:

● 1, 2 or 3 quarts: 10 cents each.

● 1 to 2 gallons: 35 cents each.

● 2 or more gallons: 30 cents each.

● Pints: 6 cents each.

We are glad to provide you the best grade of milk sold in Columbia.

O.D. Meyers Dairy."

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